When cricketers retire, they usually slip into a comfortable media career, charity work, personal business interests or family matters.
Not George Bradley Hogg.
The evergreen chinaman has found a new life in Twenty20 cricket playing in Australia, Bangladesh, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
Hogg was an limited-overs specialist for Australia. His bustling run-up and wicked wrong un made him perfect for the short form. He played 123 ODIs for 156 wickets and played in the victorious 2003 and 2007 World Cup teams before retiring in 2008. Unfortunately his Test career never flourished; not only was he stuck behind Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill, he lacked the crucial element of surprise. Hogg played his first Test in India in 1996. He waited seven years for his return in the 2003 Carribean tour.
In 2011, aged 40, Hogg returned for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash. Despite a three-year break, Hogg took 12 wickets at 13.5, the third highest wicket-taker, and was selected for the Australia Twenty20 World Cup team. He also played in the Bangladesh, South African and Indian Twenty20 leagues.
He warmed up for the World Cup with two T20 games against India in Sydney and Melbourne, taking a combined 2/40.
In 2014, he helped Perth Scorchers win the Big Bash title and earnt more T20 cricket for Australia (at 43 years old).
Hoggy is still going, playing for Kolkota in the IPL and entering his fifth BBL campaign for Perth this summer.
So how has Hogg been so successful?
Basically, he’s having fun.
The modern cricket climate can be way too serious for its own good at times, especially with Twenty20 exploited as the game’s cash cow. Hoggy shows us how fun cricket can be. He has the infectious attitude of a 12-year-old park cricketer and is happy to clown around with the media and fans, using tongue-in-cheek rap songs to announce another comeback.
When Hogg played for Australia, you felt he would never reach his full potential. Yes he was a great ODI bowler, but his inability to crack Test cricket would have frustrated him. Hogg played in an era where specialisation was the buzzword; you had Test cricketers and limited overs cricketers. Only the elite played both forms consistently. Twenty20 added an extra layer of specialisation. Hogg was pigeonholed as a coloured pyjamas bowler.
Now it doesn’t matter. Hogg is obviously loving his second life as a cricketer. Don’t forget than chinaman bowling is arguably the hardest cricketing discipline. Since Chuck Fleetwood Smith, successful Aussie chinamen have been rare.
So how long will Hogg go for? If he keeps bowling well, he could play until he’s 50.